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Council Launches 'Memories of Castlereagh' Heritage Trail

October 2, 2015

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has launched the ‘Memories of Castlereagh’ heritage trail.

The project, which was jointly funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, was commissioned to encapsulate the unique heritage woven within the landscape of the Castlereagh area.  The project has captured the memories and stories associated with many historical events including the History of Belvoir Park, the Second World War and the Lisnabreeny Military Station.  

The Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett, welcoming people to the launch, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome you all to the launch of this local heritage project.  Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is very mindful of the history of its townlands and I would like to commend everyone involved in creating this heritage trail.  The partnership between the local community and the funders is very evident in the final ‘Memories of Castlereagh’ product.”

Present at the launch were representatives of Newtownbreda Community Association, Lisburn Building Preservation Trust, National Trust, Carryduff Historical Society, Knockbreda Parish Church, The Somme Centre and Streamvale Farm.

Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, speaking at the launch, said: “As Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council looks to and plans for the future of the area it is fitting to be able to celebrate with its partners in this project the memories of Castlereagh. 

“The former borough of Castlereagh is steeped in history dating back to the Norman Invasion and the reign of the O’Neil Clan.  Gilnahirk has its place as an integral part in the collation of military intelligence in both World War II and the Cold War as it was the location of a listening post. 

“The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Council jointly funded the project and I would like to thank all those who took part in it through the provision of personal memories and investigating stories.  The project has concluded through the establishment of informative signs at interesting locations, a wonderful factual booklet and a smartphone audio trail App.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is very proud of its natural environment and its repertoire of green spaces includes Castlereagh Hills, Moat Park, Moira Demesne, Castle Gardens and Wallace Park.  The ‘Memories of Castlereagh’ trail fits well within the Council’s tourism strategy and is a good example of the corporate aim to ‘create a positive place to live, work and visit and preserve the natural environment for the future.’

Angelina Fusco from the Heritage Lottery Fund added: “Angelina Fusco from the Heritage Lottery Fund added: “We were delighted to fund this project which helped the local community, historical societies and local historians to gather and collate the stories and heritage of the Castlereagh area.  Packaging this wealth of information into a trail and App is a great way to share the heritage with local people and tourists.  Heritage is often at the core of our local tourism and it is thanks to National Lottery players that Castlereagh’s heritage can draw more visitors into the area.”

The heritage trail includes Belvoir Park, Knockbreda Church, Newtownbreda village, Lisnabreeny, Dundonald Motte and Kempe Stones.

Residents and visitors can download the free Memories of Castlereagh App from the Android and iOS stores or scan the QR codes on the interpretive panels across the former Castlereagh area to hear the stories.

Pictured at the launch of the 'Memories of Castlereagh' Heritage Trail are: (l-r) Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Council's Development Committee; Aidan Campbell, local historian; the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Thomas Beckett and Angelina Fusco, Heritage Lottery Fund.